Belfast Telegraph

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Rampant Real Madrid return to form in emphatic style

Gareth Bale scores twice as Real hit seven.

Cristiano Ronaldo was left bloodied as he scored a late double to help Real Madrid end their winless LaLiga run with a 7-1 rout of lowly Deportivo La Coruna.

The Portugal international suffered a nasty cut to his head when he was caught by defender Fabian Schar’s boot as he dived to headed home Real’s sixth goal.

Gareth Bale had earlier scored twice after Nacho had cancelled out Adrian’s shock opener for the visitors, and Luka Modric added a fourth.

Ronaldo struck after 78 and 84 minutes before Nacho helped himself to a second on an afternoon when Deportivo goalkeeper Ruben made a series of fine saves to spare his team further damage.

Under-pressure Real boss Zinedine Zidane was afforded the rare luxury of having Ronaldo, Bale and Karim Benzema available, although he chose to leave the latter on the bench.

The home side started in positive mood with Ronaldo heading over from Bale’s fourth-minute cross and Ruben saving from Borja Mayoral.

However, it was the visitors who took a shock lead with 23 minutes gone when Florin Andone flicked the ball into Lucas Perez’s path and his low cross was stabbed home at the far post by Adrian.

Real’s response was concerted and Ruben had to produce a fine save to keep out Ronaldo’s 28th-minute header, although the keeper was fortunate when he allowed Marcelo’s shot to squirm from his grasp before clutching the ball gratefully after it came back off the post.

But the respite proved to be temporary when Marcelo burst into the penalty area and squared for Nacho to side-foot firmly past the keeper with 32 minutes played.

There was better to come for the home side with three minutes of the half remaining when, with Ronaldo appealing in vain for a penalty after going down under Luisinho’s challenge, Bale picked up the loose ball, stepped inside onto his left foot and curled a delicious shot past the helpless Ruben and in off the far post.

Ruben managed to repel Casemiro’s firm 58th-minute header, but once again his efforts proved in vain as Bale got his head to Toni Kroos’ resulting corner to glance home his side’s third goal.

It was four within 10 minutes when Modric produced a sumptuous finish from Ronaldo’s audacious flick, although Deportivo could have reduced the deficit twice within seconds as Andone first slipped and fired over with the goal gaping before seeing Nacho clear a second effort off the line.

Ronaldo, who had passed up a series of earlier chances, made no mistake 12 minutes from time when he swept home Casemiro’s cross, although his second six minutes later came at a cost and he was receiving medical attention off the pitch when Nacho blasted home the game’s final goal.

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